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Godric
FREDERICK BUECHNER

Godric by Frederick Buechner
23 reviews (1980) (192p)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Finalist

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Book Description
Frederick Buechner's Godric "retells the life of Godric of Finchale, a twelfth-century English holy man whose projects late in life included that of purifying his moral ambition of pride...Sin, spiritual yearning, rebirth, fierce asceticism--these hagiographic staples aren't easy to revitalize but Frederick Buechner goes at the task with intelligent intensity and a fine readiness to invent what history doesn't supply.He contrives a style of speech for his narrator--Godric himself--that's brisk and tough-sinewed...He avoids metaphysical fiddle, embedding his narrative in domestic reality--familiar affection, responsibilities, disasters...All on his own, Mr. Buechner has managed to reinvent projects of self-purification and of faith as piquant matter for contemporary fiction [in a book] notable for literary finish...Frederick Buechner is a very good writer indeed." -- Benjamin DeMott, The New York Times Book Review

"From the book's opening sentence...and sensible reader will be caught in Godric's grip...Godric glimmers brightly." -- Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek

"Godric is a memorable book...a marvelous gem of a book...destined to become a classic of its kind." -- Michael Heskett, Houston Chronicle

"In the extraordinary figure of Godric, both stubborn outsider and true child of God, both worldly and unworldly, Frederick Buechner has found an ideal means of exploring the nature of spirituality. Godric is a living battleground where God fights it out with the world, the Flesh, and the Devil." -- London Times Literary Supplement

"Wityh a poet's sensibly and a high reverent fancy, Frederick Buechner paints a memorable portrait." -- Edmund Fuller, The Wall Street Journal


Amazon.com Review
If you think a novel about a saint is likely to be a dry and airy sort of thing, think again. Godric was a 12th-century saint--born to Anglo-Saxon parents in Norfolk almost in the year of the Norman invasion (1066 for those of you long unschooled!). He was a peddler and wanderer long before he settled into the life of a hermit in northern England, led there by the famous hermit St. Cuthbert, who told him, "your true nesting place lies farther on, [and] until you reach it, every other place you find will fret you like a cage."

In Godric Frederick Buechner captures the voice and the times of this saint with a style that recalls the richly alliterative language of Middle English poetry. So too does it recall the beautiful earthiness of that literature, reminding us that this time of deep spirituality was also a time of real flesh-and-blood folk. And in some ways this is the deepest point of this delightful (and at times comic) novel: these people, like those who live among us today, become saints not by leaving the body behind but by finding a way to live more deeply within it. They find a way to turn it to glory. --Doug Thorpe


Frederick Buechner Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 1 Godric ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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